In Pictures

Photographing football's female fans

Despite the often male associations of football, over the course of the 2014-15 Premier League season 25% of fans attending matches were female.

This Fan Girl is a website dedicated to documenting the women who attend football matches around the UK. Sitting together in the pub during last summer's European Championships, founders Amy Drucquer and Laura Blake decided to fight against what they saw as the narrow depiction of female fans in the media.

A Sunderland fan with chips Image copyright This Fan Girl
Tottenham Hotspur fan Image copyright This Fan Girl

After scouring the internet, the friends noticed that there was often a certain type of female fan depicted, one who conformed to narrow ideals of modern beauty and was connected to articles about the women's physical appearance. They wanted to create a celebration of the diversity of female fans, stepping past objectification and surprise at a female presence at matches.

Despite having such honourable aims, the success of the project has amazed even them.

"If I'm being honest, in that initial conversation we didn't bank on visiting every club in the Premier League in our first season and taking over 300 women's portraits," said Amy.

Arsenal fan Image copyright This Fan Girl
Crystal Palace fan Image copyright This Fan Girl
West Brom fan Image copyright This Fan Girl

Amy, a Leicester fan, started going to matches with her father when she was about 10. Her highlight was Leicester's home game last season against Swansea. After Jamie Vardy's three-match ban, her hopes weren't high.

"I walked into the stadium with my dad and the sound took my breath away, it felt like I'd walked into a gladiator arena," said Amy.

"Leicester secured a 4-0 win and the King Power was literally jumping. That was my favourite match I've ever been to in my life."

Laura only manages to make it to three or four home games a season as she lives in London, away from her team West Bromwich Albion's ground, The Hawthorns. However, her boyfriend is a fan too and they often enjoy a Saturday afternoon in the Baggies pub by Broadway Market, east London.

Arsenal fan Image copyright This Fan Girl
Hull fan Image copyright This Fan Girl

It is the sense of community that the girls both relish the most. If they go to a match using someone else's season ticket, they'll often be asked to bring something such as chocolate for the people that sit around them, as it's something the ticket-holders would usually do.

On arrival, they'll introduce themselves and pass over the chocolate to the neighbours, creating a bond between total strangers, whose only link is as supporters of the same team.

Stoke City fans Image copyright This Fan Girl
Sunderland fans Image copyright This Fan Girl

All photographs taken by Amy and Laura of This Fan Girl.

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